I am currently trying to build my own house. Here in Ukraine that means that you only have to pay a fee for administration – the same the world over – but also an unofficial payment.
Bribery here is endemic and you cannot get anything done swiftly without paying cash to some sweaty man in a badly-made suit. You can of course make an application for your architectural permission – not pay a bribe and then have it left, unchecked forever collecting dust. You won’t get your permission and it is, after all, your fault as you had the option of choosing the “fast track route” which guarantees your permission no matter what you intend to build.
But surely they check the application? I hear you cry. No, sorry guys. The way it works is that whoever is at the head of the administration appoints a crony who in turn appoints theirs and so on. At the bottom of the pyramid they have to extract enough cash from people to pay it up the tree to their boss – and so on. If you don’t extract enough cash – you lose your job. So, you can clearly see that the attributes for being hired are not professional and relating to experience, competence etc,. but are rather more commercial. The official cost of the architectural permission for my house was 1500 UAH plus my builder had to pay an additional $1,500 to “get things moving”. The next stage is GASK – the official State-run institute responsible for issuing the Building Permit and Commissioning Certificate (so I can live in it) .
I have been informed that the total “fee” is $6,500. Yes, that’s right – six and half grand for someone unqualified in construction to apply a few stamps at an easy-to-calculate rate of $30 per square metre of building. Half is paid now – and half on commissioning. Nice that they have a simple payment plan.
But – I do have a choice remember.